Members of the Atlantic Highlands First Aid & Safety Squad have prepared Santa’s sleigh and everything is set for the organization’s 2016 Santa Runs and food drive, which begins on Monday.

Weather permitting, the Santa Runs will be held Dec. 5 through Dec. 8. Each night, starting at 6 p.m., Santa and his team of AHFAS elves will visit one section of town until approximately 9 p.m. Should bad weather get in the way – Santa needs good weather to travel  – an additional day will be added to schedule.

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Santa will travel throughout the borough in a specially designed sleigh powered by an AHFAS ambulance. The ambulance and additional emergency vehicles will use flashing lights, holiday music and the occasional siren to alert residents they’re on the way. Santa will stop to meet with children and their families, pose for pictures, listen to holiday wish lists, and distribute candy canes.

The AHFAS will also continue its tradition of collecting donations of non-perishable food items during the Santa Runs. Since incorporating the food drive into the Santa Runs in 2008, the AHFAS has picked up thousands of food items. Items collected each year are immediately donated to the AACC Food Pantry in Atlantic Highlands to help those in need. The AHFAS elves traveling with Santa each night will gladly gather donations of whatever items residents can spare and share.

Residents can track where Santa will be each night by following the squad on Twitter and Facebook, where Santa’s helpers will provide real-time updates of the nightly trips. They can also see a map of the areas Santa will visit at www.ahfirstaid.org. Those with special needs or who want to check on where Santa is headed each night can call the AHFAS’ non-emergency number (732) 291-8118 before 6 p.m. (Editor's note: Because of the time it takes cover each part of town, the Squad uses a slightly different zone map for the Santa Runs than the normal borough outline.)

For nearly two decades, the AHFAS has been delivering holiday cheer to area residents by bringing Santa to visit them at their homes through the Santa Runs. While also spreading holiday greetings, the annual visits give Squad members a chance to visit with friends and neighbors throughout the borough in a non-emergency setting.

The AHFAS is an all-volunteer emergency medical service providing around-the-clock EMS care to the borough and occasionally surrounding towns. The Squad is funded only by donations from the borough and its residents. For information on how you can become a part of this dynamic, award-winning organization call (732) 291-8118, check out the Squad website, or ask any member during the Santa Runs.

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